Big in 2006: Mobile telly, O2 and DVB-H
If you’re a true gadgeteer, you’ll have been watching television on your mobile for the past couple of years. Using the convoluted method of recording to a PC and transferring shows to your phone doesn’t really count as mobile TV, though, does it? This year, getting the small screen on the even smaller screen stepped up a notch – Three, Orange and Vodafone all started live TV broadcasts over 3G.
So far, the most impressive channel line-up has come from Vodafone and its media cohorts, Sky. The real deal, however, is O2. Its mobile TV offering is gently cresting over the horizon, or – if you’re a jammy bugger who happens to live in Oxford – has already arrived. O2’s big trick is that it’s serving up most of the channels you get on digital terrestrial – namely BBC One and Two, News 24, ITV 1 and 2, Channel 4 and Five, CNN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Sky News and more.
There are more aces up O2’s sleeve, too, since it tends to wear very long jumpers. Chief amongst these – aces, that is, not jumpers – is the ability to schedule recordings and browse an EPG. What we’re talking about here is a TV experience more akin to what you’re used to in the lounge.
The tech behind the trial is DVB-H and O2’s current phone of choice is the Nokia 7710 with an adaptor slapped on the back. By the time a real-world service launches, expect it to have switched to the far sexier N92, pictured above.